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Council Tax

Taxes are a fact of life and likely to remain so in one form or another! As one might expect Council Tax pays for the services and local facilities provided by the Council – street lighting, refuse collection, libraries, etc. Most councils will accept payment on a monthly instalment basis – sometimes ten payments each year with two months off.

The tax cannot be avoided. Every property has been assessed and placed in one of eight Bands from A to H. These figures were calculated according to a rough estimate of the market value in 1991 based on standard assumptions. If a property is substantially extended, reduced in size, or there is a material change of use the local Valuation Office should be notified when the property may be rebanded. There are appeal provisions which must be lodged within six months of formal notification of the allocated Band.

Your legal adviser will adjust the various payments for the tax and the service charges according to the date of the move – adjusting the responsibility as necessary by agreement with the other conveyancers.

The Government is looking into alternative methods for financing local government but is a long way from deciding on a new approach. In the meanwhile the reassessment of all Council Tax Bands in 2007 has bee postponed until after the next General Election: it is easy to guess why!

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